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Student Planning To Return To The UK Has Had Experimental Covid-19 Vaccine

Tom Wood

Published 
| Last updated 

Student Planning To Return To The UK Has Had Experimental Covid-19 Vaccine

A student who plans to return to the UK will do so after taking an unproven coronavirus vaccine that cost around £50.

Evelyn Wu jumped at the chance to get a Covid-19 vaccination when she realised it was available, even if the science isn't completely there yet and it's just an experimental vaccine.

The 20-year-old University of Birmingham economics student, who expects to return to the country for her studies in January, explained: "I felt excited actually, it's just like a normal vaccine."

So, when she heard that there was a potential vaccine on offer, she headed on over to a hospital in Yongkang in eastern China to put her name down.

Two days after that, she had an appointment to discuss getting a dose.

Many different companies and countries are working to develop a vaccine. Credit: PA
Many different companies and countries are working to develop a vaccine. Credit: PA

She continued: "I needed to sign some contract. It has the details about COVID-19. And it told me that it's very safe, even though it's only stage 3."

After signing the waiver explaining that there could be some mild symptoms, she was given the first two doses and told that the whole process would set her back around £52.

This particular vaccine is being produced by Sinovac, who are a Beijing based company. They're carrying out late stage testing in Brazil, Indonesia, and Turkey, with the aim to publish preliminary stage three trial results next month.

Whilst it hasn't been proven to be safe and effective just yet, China has cleared the vaccine for use in emergencies and said that the World Health Organisation supports that decision.

Wu told Sky News: "Yes, I'm a little worried about [it being] experimental stage 3,

"And I think I was the one who was the test subject, the one who was treated like a little mouse."

A dose of the Sinovac vaccine that's in testing. Credit: PA
A dose of the Sinovac vaccine that's in testing. Credit: PA

Despite feeling a but sleepy, she says that she's not experiences any side-effects just yet. She's not under direct monitoring from the hospital, but has been told to head there straight away if any symptoms occur.

She believes that the support from the government is more important than the scientists.

Wu added: "I trust China and I think it's totally safe to get vaccinated. I trust the government."

However, not everyone agrees. The experimental vaccine has not been taken up by doctors and scientists so far.

She said: "Some doctors and some teachers refused to take the vaccination. They think it's dangerous because they think they are being tested,

"They don't want to be the volunteer to get the experimental vaccine."

Ms Wu will take her next dose next month. Credit: PA
Ms Wu will take her next dose next month. Credit: PA

So far, thousands of volunteers have taken the potential vaccine ahead of overseas travel, but it is now being expanded out to include members of the public in some cities and towns.

To take part, participants must be aged 18-59 and be a local resident.

Of course, there are risks. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, who are competing to get a vaccine to the UK and US markets, have both been halted after some patients became seriously ill.

However, that's not enough to deter Ms Wu.

She explained: "I don't think we'll have the same problem,

"Because they're totally different experiments I think. China uses different ways to treat the pandemic."

She'll get a second dose in November, but will obviously still be wearing a mask, washing her hands, and keeping her distance when she eventually returns to the UK.

It's keeping her mum happy, too.

Wu concluded: "She is happy for me to have the vaccination, because she thinks I am brave. I make an example for others.

"Because there is an old saying, the first one to eat the crabs is the most brave, right?"

Featured Image Credit: Evelyn Wu

Topics: World News, China

Tom Wood
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